Most ultrasounds that are done after 10 weeks of pregnancy are performed abdominally. The sonographer will place some gel on your belly, and will rub a hand-held device (probe) across your belly in order to obtain a picture of your unborn baby.
For an abdominal ultrasound during your first trimster, you may need to drink a few glasses of water. This is so your full bladder will push your uterus up out of your pelvis, allowing the baby to be seen clearly in the ultrasound images.
Sometimes the sonographer needs to perform a vaginal ultrasound. The probe used for this does not need to go in very deep, so most women find that it fits comfortably inside the vagina. It is your choice whether or not you have ultrasound scans during your pregnancy. Many women find it reassuring to know if they have a healthy pregnancy and to help prepare for the birth. If any abnormalities are seen, it may also be possible to arrange immediate specialist care to help manage your pregnancy and prepare for the birth.